Both President Reagan and President Obama had to deal with terrorist actions during their time in office, but their responses couldn’t be more different.
After ISIS beheaded several American citizens last summer, Obama said in a press conference:
I have consulted in Congress throughout this process. As our strategy develops we will continue to consult with Congress. But I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet.
On April 14, 1986, while announcing air and naval strikes against Muammar al-Qaddafi and the Libyan regime, Reagan was emphatic in his resolve to eliminate any terrorist threat.
Colonel Qadaffi is not only an enemy against the United States….He has sanctioned acts of terror in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East…and for us to ignore by inaction the slaughter of American civilians and American soldiers, whether in nightclubs or in airline terminals, is simply not in the American traditions.
When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world on direct orders of a hostile regime, we will respond so long as I’m in this Oval Office. Self defense is not only our right; it is our duty. It is the purpose behind the mission undertaken tonight, a mission fully consistent with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.
He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.
There should be no place on earth where terrorists can rest and train and perfect their deadly skills. I meant it. I said that we would act with others if possible to ensure that terrorists have no sanctuary anywhere. Tonight, we have.
The differences don’t end there. The Obama administration has a high bar for what they consider “terrorism,” and the Taliban doesn’t qualify:
The Taliban is an armed insurgency, ISIL is a terrorist group. We don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.
That’s an important distinction to remember since the current President actually negotiated with the Taliban to free suspected military deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
—Courtesy of IJ Review